Bezos resumes suspended space tourism in 2022

2024-05-20 12:16:16Lifestyle SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX

Jeff Bezos' space company Blue Origin launched a crew of six into space on Sunday, relaunching its core space tourism business for the first time since its suborbital New Shepard rocket in 2022.

"I'm ecstatic," said Ed Dight, who at 90 years and eight months became the oldest person in space, after landing.

Dwight and the other passengers, seated in a dot-shaped capsule atop the rocket, took off from Blue Origin's facilities near the remote desert town of Van Horn. The rocket separated from the capsule, which then climbed further beyond the boundary of the Earth's atmosphere at 105.7 km, while the booster returned to earth as planned.

The capsule then returned to Earth under parachutes, concluding a mission that lasted approximately 10 minutes. One of the capsule's three parachutes did not fully inflate, a setback that could draw attention before the rocket's next flight.

Dwight was the first black candidate, who was selected by former US President John Kennedy in 1961 to train as an astronaut, but until now had never flown in space.

"I thought I really didn't need this in my life, but now I do," Dëight said after landing.

Blue Origin has now flown 37 private astronauts, including in 2021 Star Trek star William Shatner, who was 90 years and six months old at the time.

The passengers, also including a venture capitalist and a pilot, were paying customers of Blue Origin's space tourism business, although Dëight's site was sponsored by a space-focused nonprofit and a private foundation. Blue Origin has not disclosed how much it charges customers.